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Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu

Waikiki and Honolulu viewed from Diamond Head

Framing the skyscrapers of Honolulu, the outline of Diamond Head is a readily identifiable landmark, recognized as a U.S. National Natural Monument in 1968.  It’s a volcanic tuft cone know to the locals as Le’ahi; the name “Diamond Head” was bestowed by 19th century British sailors who thought the calcite crystals on the adjoining beach were diamonds.  

Diamond Head State Monument encompasses over 475 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.  An average of 3,000 people visit the crater every day, making it one of the most visited sites in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions and on all of the islands you’ll find cones, vents, and eruption flows within the lava rock.  These are all …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 14, 2017: King Kamehameha and Iolani Palace, Honolulu

Hawaii 3-2008 013

One of the few highlights of old Hawaii still remaining in Honolulu is Iolani Palace.  The palace was built in the 19th century as the royal residence of the rulers of Hawaii, beginning with King Kamehameha, ending with Queen Lili’uokalani (1893).  The building is known for its Hawaiian renaissance architecture and a quality statue of King Kamehameha which sits by the road in front of the Palace.  The site is now open to the public as a museum.

Of interest, it is the only royal palace in the United States.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Oahu

27 Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki 10-2014

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of the first hotels located on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.  The hotel’s beach offers wonderful views of Waikiki and Diamond Head, the island’s extinct, iconic volcanic crater.  It is one of the few ‘older’ places in a city that has exploded with new devlopment in the past half century.

The Royal Hawaiian is known for its bright pink color, hence the nickname, “The Pink Palace of the Pacific”.  Its design has a Moorish influence and the complex sits on 15 acres of land, most of which is a beautiful tropical garden.  The hotel has 400 rooms, each with a balcony, and was built to accommodate the growing number of wealthy American …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 17, 2015: International Market Place, Honolulu

Hawaii 3-2008 017  International Market Place

I’m saddened to share with you photos of a place that isn’t anymore.  The International Market Place in Honolulu has been torn down to make way for an upscale mega-mall.

Oahu is not my favorite Hawaiian island mostly because it’s dominated by Honolulu, a large busy tropical city similar to many others around the world.  But within this city there was a nice place, a island of shady banyan trees.  Here you could talk to pleasant people running small cart-shops, you could buy inexpensive gifts, or patronize hole-in-the-wall restaurants where you could have a nice meal, or a place to sit, rest, and cool down.

When we visited Honolulu last fall we found the site of the International Market Place boarded up, …

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Signs of Waikiki

04 Signs of Waikiki

There’s a lot you can tell about a city simply by looking at small things, like its signage or public art.  Every city has unique and interesting shops and landmarks that add to its personality.

Today I’d like to share with you some of the signage and street art we saw in Waikiki Beach on a recent visit.   Waikiki is a fairly unique place.  Almost exclusively catering to tourists, the facilities and services are aimed at its thousands of visitors.  Still, you’ll see some of Honolulu’s many citizens enjoying the sand on the beach, or having dinner at one of the restaurants, or walking by the beach.  Surfing and paddle-boarding are especially popular because of how sweet the waves are as they break on the coral reef …

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